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A. SCRIPTURES

Statement on the King James Version

Recognizing that different convictions exist among us regarding Bible texts and versions, we believe we should balance soul liberty with Christian charity in these matters, and therefore, agree not to magnify these differences at our meetings in order to remain united as a fellowship. We believe we should leave such discussion and decision to the privacy of individual conscience and the sovereign determination of each local church. Though some of us may use certain versions in the study, we prefer the King James Version in our conference preaching. We trust our speakers will honor this preference. As our Baptist forefathers, we continue to believe that the King James Version is the Word of God in English.

Statement on Inspiration and Inerrancy

We believe in the plenary, verbal, inspiration by God of the entire Bible as originally written. We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments (Genesis through Revelation). We believe the Holy Bible is a completed revelation, and that its divine inspiration has never been, nor will it ever be, duplicated. We believe, therefore, in the Bible's infallibility and unlimited inerrancy in all areas, including creation, science, geography, chronology, history, and in all other matters of which it speaks. The books known as the Apocrypha, however, are not the inspired Word of God in any sense whatever. As the Bible uses it, the term "inspiration" (or quality of being God-breathed) refers to the original writings, not to the writers; the writers are spoken of as being "holy men of God" who were "moved" (or "carried" or "borne" along) by the Holy Spirit in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally, plenarily, and verbally inspired, free from any error, infallible, and inerrant, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.

Statement on Bible Preservation

We believe God has promised in both the Old and New Testament to preserve His Words as given to us in the original Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek texts. By His providential care, we believe God has kept His Word pure down through the ages as He promised, and we reaffirm our belief in what our Baptist forefathers wrote in their London Baptist Confession of 1677 and 1689. It states in part: The Old Testament in Hebrew, (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was generally known to the nations) being immediately inspired by God, and by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic. Recognizing that different convictions exist among us regarding the method and product of Bible preservation, we all believe that God has indeed kept His promise and h preserved His Word in the original language texts. We believe we should balance soul liberty with Christian charity as to the method and product of Bible preservation, and therefore, agree to respect different views. We believe we should leave such discussion and decision to the privacy of individual conscience and the sovereign determination of each local church. (Psalm 12:6-7, 78:1-8, 119:89, 111, 152, 160; Ecclesiastes 3:14; Isaiah 8:20, 30:8, 40:6-8; Matthew 4:4, 5:17-18, 24:35, 28:20; John 10:35, 17:17; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Colossians 1:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 John 1:2; Revelation 20: 12)

B. THE TRIUNE GOD

We believe in the Deity, unity, equality and eternality of the Triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; that these three persons are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections; that they are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence and obedience; that this Triune God is the One and only living and true God; that He is everlasting, immutable, of infinite power, wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness and truth; and that He is the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible; subsisting in Three persons, of one substance (essence), power and eternity.

God the Son: The Lord Jesus Christ

His Virgin Birth: We believe that, as provided and proposed by God and as pre-announced in the prophecies of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy and become the Redeemer- substitute; that He was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous matter, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman; that He received a human body and a sinless human nature; and that He is both the eternal Son of God and God the Son-perfect God and perfect Man.

His Person: We believe in the essential, absolute, eternal Deity and the real and proper, but perfect and sinless, humanity of our Lord Jesus Christi that Christ is the eternal Son of God, and God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, being co-equal, co-eternal, and of the same essence as God the Father; that He united in one person undiminished Deity and perfect, sinless humanity.

His Bodily Resurrection: We believe that, our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day in the same body, though glorified, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers.

His Bodily Ascension: We believe that in departing from the Earth in His resurrection body, Christ ascended into Heaven; as our great High Priest, and will come again in like manner.

His High Priestly Work: We believe that, in Heaven, He now sits at the right hand of God the Father as our Great High Priest, interceding for His own; that He became Head over all things to the Church which is His Body; and that, in this ministry He cease not to intercede and advocate for the saved. (Genesis 1:1,3:15; Genesis 15:6 cf. with Romans 4:3; Exodus 20:2-3; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25, 28:18-19; Mark 12:29, 16:19; Luke 1:35, 24:51;John 1:3,14,18; 20:17; Acts 1:9-10,5:34; Romans 4:5-8; I Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 1: 15-16; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1: 1- 3, 2:17, 4:15, 5:9-10, 7:25, 11: 7; 12:2; 1 John 2:1, 5:7-8; Revelation 1:4-6; 4:11)

God the Holy Spirit

His Person and Presence: We believe that the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father and the Son, is of one substance (essence), majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God; that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in creation; that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost according to the divine promise; that He dwells in every believer; that, as the Indwelling One, He is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service; that He never takes His departure from the Church, nor from the feeblest of the saints; that He is ever present to testify of Christ, seeking to occupy believers with Him and not with themselves nor with their experiences; that His abode in the world in this special sense will cease when Christ comes to receive His own at the completion of the Church in the Rapture.

His Ministries: We believe that, in this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit, and that it is the duty of every Christian to understand them and to be adjusted to them in his own life and experience; that He restrains evil in the world to the measure of the divine will in that He convicts the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; that He regenerates all believers; that He indwells and anoints all who are saved; that He seals believers unto the day of redemption; that Christ baptized in the Spirit into one body all who are saved; that He intercedes for the believers and that He fills for power, leading, bearing witness, teaching and service those among the saved who are subject to His will. (Matthew 26:26-29, 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-37, 15:13-18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-27, 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23, 3:1-6; 4:11, 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 19:7-8, 22:17)

His Temporary Gifts: The charismatic gifts, such as tongues, healing, and prophecy are not for our day. (Genesis 1: 1-3; Matthew 28:20; Mark 1:8, Luke 24:49; John 1:33, 3:6, 14:16-17; 16:7-11,14; Acts 1:8, 4:8,31, 5:32, 11:16; Romans 8:9,14-16, 23, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:4-13, 13:8-13; Ephesians 1:13-14, 2:22, 4:30, 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2: 7; 1 John 2:20-27)

C. SALVATION

We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatory office of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demand of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior. He is in every way qualified to be and is a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior. (Acts 15:11, 16:30-31; Romans 3:24-25; John 3:16; Philippians 2: 7-8; Hebrews 2:14-18; Isaiah 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24)

Appropriation

We believe that salvation is wholly a work of God, performed from beginning to end by Him and that unsaved man cannot do anything to save himself, or make himself more acceptable to God in order to merit God's saving him. God therefore commands man to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the means of appropriating salvation. Repentance is a change of mind toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit and is an integral part of saving faith. (Ecclesiastes 3:14; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3: 15-16, 18; Acts 15:11, 16:30-31; Romans 3:24-25; I Corinthians 15:1-4; 1 John 5:13)

Grace and the New Birth

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about solely by God by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith in the truth of the Gospel. (John 3:3,8, 5:1; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5: 17; Ephesians 2:1-9; Colossians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:1-13)

Justification

We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's shed blood. (Romans 3:24, 4:5, 5:1,9; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9)

The Security of the Believers

We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. This security of the believer is dependent on the work of Christ alone and not the work of the believer. (Philippians 1:6; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39; Jude 1)

D. SANCTIFICATION

We believe that the sanctifying work of God in relation to the believer is a setting apart of the believer unto God and from sin. Sanctification encompasses the following: first, judicial sanctification; second, experiential sanctification; and third, complete sanctification.

Judicial Sanctification

Judicial sanctification is the work of God the Father wherein the believer has been positionally declared holy and without blame. This declaration was based on the merits of the redemptive work of Christ through the shedding of His blood. As an eternal act of God, judicial sanctification was fully accomplished by Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection, and nothing in the experiential life of the believer can change this standing. Every believer is thus a saint and there will never be any past, present, or future condemnation brought against him.

Experiential Sanctification

Experiential sanctification is the work of God the Holy Spirit wherein the believer is being practically made to conform to the image of Christ. This is an ongoing process in which the believer is personally responsible to obey the Word of God in his daily walk. While experiential sanctification is progressive in nature, its progress may be hindered by disobedience, since the believer retains his sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in this life. His sin nature is still operative in the believer's present state, even though he has been judicially declared to be dead indeed unto sin. Though he is admonished to strive to be holy as God is holy, it is with the Lord. Holiness in life of the believer is effected through the Word of God by faith, obedience, prayer, chastisement, Godly fellowship, and the Blessed Hope.

Complete Sanctification

Complete sanctification is the work of the Son of God wherein the believer is perfectly transformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Though complete sanctification does not occur until the believer is home with the Lord, either in death, or in the rapture for those who remain until His coming, it will be an instantaneous transformation to be like Christ when he sees Him as He is. The eradication of the believer's sin nature does not await the resurrection of his body, though the believer's body will be like Christ's glorious body as well. A proper understanding of complete sanctification precludes any notion of purgatory, since Christ already accomplished the purging of the believer's sin by His work of sanctification. (John 17:1-3, 16:20; Romans 6:2,5-11, 14:7-9; 1 Corinthians 1:30, 6:9-11; Ephesians 1:4, 14, 18, 2:11-14, 5:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 2:9-13, 10:9-14; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 1:9; Jude 1)

E. THE CHURCH

We believe in the unity of all true believers in the Church, which is the Body of Christ. It was established on the Day of Pentecost, will be completed at the Rapture, and includes both Jews and Gentiles. All who are pan of this church have been added through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We believe that the local church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ (baptism and the Lord's Table); governed by His laws, and exercising the min and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its two officers are Pastors (also known as Bishops and Elders) and Deacons, whose qualifications and duties are defined in the Scriptures. We believe that the true mission of the church is the fulfillment of the Great Commission, as stated in Matthew 28: 18-20. We believe that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, that the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. We believe that the local church is God's plan for accomplishing His commission in this age. We believe, therefore, that all other Christian institutions and agencies should have as their objective to aid and strengthen the local church.

The Ordinances of the Local Church

We believe that baptism is the ordinance whereby the believer publicly identifies with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, following salvation. It is a single immersion in water, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is not the means of salvation, but rather an obedient act of identification. It is an ordinance of the local church and should, therefore, be done under the authority of a local church.

We further believe that the Lord's Table is a precious reminder of the broken body and shed blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is also a joyous reminder that one day we will drink it new with Him in the Father's kingdom. This ordinance is also fulfilled by a local church and is preceded by salvation and believer's baptism. Great care should be exercised in self-examination so that no one eats the broke bread or drinks the fruit of the vine unworthily.

Church Officers

We believe that the Head of the Church has ordained two offices in the local church, pastor and deacon. First Timothy three defines their character and qualifications and establishes their rank. Neither a pastor nor a deacon may have been divorced nor married to a divorced woman. The Holy Spirit's direction in the choice of men is through the election by the congregation. There is no valid ordination of women. This franchise is granted to the congregation in the meaning of the word, church, and by the practice of the churches under the direction of the Apostles. The first office is described by three Biblical terms: bishop, elder, and pastor. They are different perspectives on the same office. We believe there is no division between the ruling and teaching elders. All elders are bishops and must be "apt to teach". There may be more than one pastor in a congregation, but on pastor should provide leadership for the whole congregation as in the example of James in the Jerusalem church.

The Head has given the purposes and principles for each local church in the New Testament. The pastor has authority from the Head to preach the Word as he is led by the Holy Spirit, to set spiritual objectives for the flock, to oversee that Scripture is followed in the overall activity of the church, to warn of false doctrine and spiritual dangers, and to lead by example. However he is not a dictator over the church.

The local church has authority from the Head to choose its own officers, to discipline and dismiss members, to appoint messengers, to commission missionaries, to choose the time and place of meetings which include the observance of the two ordinances, to initiate financial policy and accountability, and to judge grievances between members. The areas of authority granted to the pastor and the local church should be exercised in a harmonious balance. The deacons assist the pastor in implementing and supervising the policies and programs of the local church. (Mark 10:11-12; Acts. 6:3-5, 11:29-30, 14:23, 19:39, 20:28-31; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, 6:1-5, 9:11-14; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 1:22; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 3:1-6,10-13, 5:17-18; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

F. BIBLICAL SEPARATION

Separation is a clear principle of Scripture, practiced by Baptist who believe the fundamentals of our faith, whereby we do not fellowship with apostates or those who compromisingly fellowship with apostates.

The doctrine of separation includes:

The Mark of God's Holiness, whereby believers are separated unto the Lord since their salvation, bearing His name as redeemed Christians, believing and obeying His Word as a necessity for His service and our blessing, and being fruitful in proclaiming His Gospel. Personal Separation, whereby a believer is in the world, but not of it, having no friendship, affiliation, nor identification with it. Ecclesiastical Separation, whereby we preach against apostasy, and withdraw from brethren who enter into memberships, affiliations and fellowships (including evangelistic crusades, youth movements, mission agencies, and schools) which seek to unite separatist fundamentalists with those who deny Biblical doctrines, including those who do not obey the Biblical teaching on separation, as defined in the purpose clause. Political Separation, whereby the things that belong to Caesar are rendered unto Caesar, and those things which are God's are duly rendered unto Him. Political separation prohibits the establishment of a state church or government interference with the doctrines and practices of churches. (Luke 20:25; John 15:18-21, 17:12-16; 18:36; Romans 16:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 5:11; Philippians 3:20; 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9-16; James 4:4; 1 Peter 1:16;18; 1 John 3:1,13)